Startup CEO Jess Levin shares the one question she asks in every job interview

Every CEO has their favourite interview question.

We recently spoke with Jess Levin, the founder and chief executive of Carats & Cake, an online wedding resource that features curated content and information about vendors.

The question she asks every candidate in every job interview: Can you tell me about a time you ran with a project from start to finish?

“We are in the service of small businesses and are a true startup ourselves so we look for people who get what it means to do big things without a lot of hands,” Levin explains.

She tells Business Insider there is no “one size fits all” answer — but she always looks for an example that “communicates independent drive, proactive problem solving, and humility.”

“For small, nimble teams, like Carats & Cake, it’s so important that everyone shares a desire to be thoughtful and committed to our business and the businesses we work with,” she continues. “A sense of humility signals an ability to truly work together and to be open to learning from mistakes and each other.”

Levin also likes to ask potential team members what their dreams are both personally and professionally. “Understanding what makes someone tick and what motivates them allows me to gauge if they can grow within our culture and also how we can evolve to make our company the best place for them,” she explains.

But more important than asking the right questions, she says, is making sure the potential hire would fit in.

“At early stages of a company, every person moves the needle in a huge way and impacts the team dynamic even more,” says Levin. “Knowing this, it’s important to have candidates meet our employees during the interview process, so I always introduce them to the team and later ask for impressions from both sides.”

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